Thursday, July 16, 2015

The promise of self driving cars: less local government?

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One of the propelling concepts behind self-driving cars isn't just innovation for the sake of innovation, leading us to our sci-fi Jetsons future. If successfully implemented, it will make ground travel safer, particularly in higher population areas, increase transportation efficiency and ultimately human productivity.

But there's one little problem, noted by the government analysts of the Brooking Institution and subsequently highlighted by Wired: Local governments have become increasingly dependent on human screw-ups as a way to raise money. Speeding tickets. DUI citations. Parking violations. Those are all big money-makers for municipalities that could very well go away under a regime of self-driving cars. That's billions of dollars of revenue across the country.

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